"Taking another route": Daily survival narratives from mothers who are homeless

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Homelessness among families has become a growing social problem for communities, yet little is known about the types of daily survival strategies such families employ. This paper presents results of a qualitative study of the coping narratives of 64 mothers living in temporary emergency shelters with their children. The women reported using a variety of coping responses to daily stressful events. These included the use of direct actions and more palliative strategies. Results suggest that stress and coping theory may be useful for understanding homelessness. Implications for program development and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-891
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • coping
  • homeless women
  • stress


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